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Listen to Benjy Mudie every Thursday night between 8 and 12pm on Radio 2000.

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Benjy says...

Hi Rock of Ages subscribers

What a special last night .... 24 rock songs from the 80's including many of your personal faves voted and suggested for during the previous week. The general consensus is that whilst there were certainly some really crappy artists and songs around there were also gems hidden away there for the the real rock fan to discover. OK, so the hair-do's and fashions were excruciatingly bad and as for some of the videos? Well the less said the better (remember Tawny Kitaen and David Coverdale in the Whitesnake videos?) ... I have already had requests for a Part 2 since we didn't even touch sides in 90 minutes, we'll certainly revisit this era sometime in the future ..... With hindsight were the 80's the worst decade of rock? Or should that dubious honour go to the 90's? ... I would love to hear your thoughts and comments on that so drop me a line at rockofages@icon.co.za.

This coming week we will be taking a listen to the musical history of one of the most successful English bands of the 70's who started off, like many other public schoolboy groups, playing some vaguely arty-prog formulation before becoming one of the biggest bands in America with sell-out tours and multi platinium records .... I speak of course about Supertramp.

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Backed by a Dutch millionaire named Stanley August Miesegaes, vocalist and pianist Rick Davies used newspaper advertising in Melody Maker to recruit an early version of the band in August 1969, an effort which recruited vocalist/guitarist and keyboardist Roger Hodgson. Other members of this embryonic Supertramp group included Richard Palmer (guitar, balalaika, vocals), and Robert Millar (percussion, harmonica). Initially, Roger Hodgson sang and played bass guitar (and on the side, guitar, cello and flageolet). The band was called Daddy from August 1969 to January 1970, then became Supertramp.

The first album Supertramp was released in July 1970. Although it was very interesting musically, it proved a commercial disappointment. Richard Palmer abruptly quit six months after the album's release and Robert Millar suffered a nervous breakdown shortly afterwards. For the next album, Frank Farrell (bass), Kevin Currie (percussion) and Dave Winthrop (flute and saxophone) replaced Millar and Palmer, Roger Hodgson switched to guitar and recorded the new album Indelibly Stamped, released in June 1971. It featured rocking Beatlesque tunes, a more commercial approach and eye-catching cover artwork. Supertramp had established themselves as a "cult" band. Sales, however, failed to improve and sold even more poorly than their debut. In early 1972 Miesegaes withdrew his support from the band after paying off debts. All members gradually quit except Hodgson and Davies. In late 1972, after being persuaded to carry on, Davies and Hodgson went on an extensive search for replacements, which first brought aboard Dougie Thomson (bass), who played with the band almost a year before auditions resumed to complete the line-up. In 1973, auditions restarted and brought in Bob Siebenberg (drums, and often credited as Bob C. Benberg), and John Helliwell (saxophone, other woodwinds, occasional keyboards, backing vocals), joining original members Davies and Hodgson and the newly brought in Thomson, completing the line-up that would create the group's defining albums. Hodgson would also begin playing keyboards in the band in addition to guitar, usually acoustic and electric pianos on his own compositions. His heavy-handed piano method would become a staple in the band, as heard on "Dreamer," "The Logical Song," "Take the Long Way Home," and many others, and would earn him the nickname "hammerheads" in the band. The classic Supertramp keyboard is a Wurlitzer electric piano with its unmistakable bright sound and biting distortion when played hard.

Crime of the Century , released in September 1974, began the group's run of critical and commercial successes, hitting number four in Britain, supported by the top-10 single "Dreamer". Its B-side "Bloody Well Right" hit the US Top 40 in May 1975. Siebenberg would later note that he thought the band hit its artistic peak on this, their third album, though their greatest commercial success would come later.The band continued with Crisis? What Crisis? released in November 1975. It achieved good though not overwhelming commercial success. Even in the Quietest Moments, released in April 1977 spawned their hit single Give a Little Bit. During this period, the band eventually relocated to the United States and moved steadily from the progressive styles of their early albums towards a more song-oriented pop sound.This trend reached its zenith on their most popular album, Breakfast in America in March 1979 which reached Number 3 in the UK and Number 1 in the United States and spawned four successful singles, "The Logical Song", "Take the Long Way Home", "Goodbye Stranger" and "Breakfast in America". The album has since sold over 18 million copies worldwide.The run of successes was capped with 1980's Paris, a 2-LP live album, in which the band stated its goal of improving on the studio versions of their songs. Interestingly, instead of focusing on songs from the hugely successful Breakfast in America, it included nearly every song from Crime of the Century, another testament to the importance of that album in the group's development.

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Hodgson and Davies' differing singing and songwriting styles provided these albums with an interesting counterpoint, contrasting Davies' determined blues-rockers and songs of broken relationships ("Another Man's Woman", "From Now On", "Goodbye Stranger") with Hodgson's wistful introspection ("Dreamer", "School", "Fool's Overture", "The Logical Song"), but Hodgson felt constrained by the arrangement and left the band after the tour for their next album, ...Famous Last Words (1982) which contained the Top 20 hit "It's Raining Again" and the Top 40 hit "My Kind of Lady". In a recent interview of his Take the Long Way Home tour, Hodgson stated that the reason why he left Supertramp was because he had started a family and he wanted to see his children to grow up and he wanted to commit to that.Having left the band in 1983 Hodgson began a solo career, his biggest hit "Had A Dream (Sleeping With the Enemy)" coming from his first solo album In the Eye of the Storm, in 1984.The Davies-led Supertramp soldiered on, releasing Brother Where You Bound the same year. This included a Top 30 hit single, "Cannonball" , along with the title track, a 16-minute exposition on Cold War themes highlighted by guitar solos from Pink Floyd's David Gilmour. The album reached #21 on the US charts. 1987's Free as a Bird included more straightforward Davies rockers, including "I'm Beggin' You", which reached Number 1 on the US dance charts, a curious accomplishment for an "art rock" band.

After 1987's tour, Thomson left the band due to a disagreement with Davies about the use of Hodgson-penned songs during live performances. One of the conditions of allowing Davies to continue with the name Supertramp was that no Hodgson songs would be performed. Hodgson was dismayed to attend a concert and find that the band was performing songs such as "Take the Long Way Home" and "The Logical Song." These songs were usually sung by Crowded House's Mark Hart (Hodgson's replacement on stage), and the Scottish bass player was against this move. When Supertramp reunited in 1997, Thomson declined an invitation to return and eventually quit playing for good.In 1993, Davies approached Hodgson in an effort to bring him back to the band, but this attempt failed. In interviews published on his and other fan forums, Hodgson later claimed he had been more than willing to rejoin Supertramp, but only if Davies's wife, Susan, abstained from interfering in band affairs. Sue Davies was A&R at A&M (in charge of welcoming the band and helping them settle) when Supertramp moved to Los Angeles in the mid-70s, and, as the romance between Davies and her blossomed, she quit A&M and started managing the band. Having to fight two Davieses instead of one increased Hodgson's frustrations, and prompted his departure. Davies declined to exclude his wife from his professional affairs, and Hodgson never heard from him again.

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In 1997 Davies re-formed Supertramp with former members Helliwell, Siebenberg, and Hart and several new musicians. The result was Some Things Never Change, a polished effort which echoed the earlier Supertramp sound. Ironically, that same year saw the release of Rites of Passage, Roger Hodgson's first solo album since Hai Hai in 1986. Rites of Passage (Hodgson album) was a live album featuring both new works from Roger as well as three Supertramp songs ("Take the Long Way Home", "The Logical Song" and "Give a Little Bit"). In an ironic reversal two years later, the reformed Supertramp released a live album, It Was The Best Of Times while Roger released a studio album Open The Door.Early 2002 saw the release of another album by Davies and the reformed Supertramp, Slow Motion (sold direct in North America). Another attempt to reunite the band, including Hodgson, fell apart in 2005.Rick Davies has since left California and resides in Long Island (East Hampton). In the past few years Roger Hodgson has donated Give A Little Bit to raise funds for Tsunami Relief efforts and other causes. It's been used by the Red Cross, United Way, the Make a Wish Foundation, and The Oprah Winfrey show requested the use of Give A Little Bit as part of their ...Gift of Giving Back Program.... In March 2006 Roger Hodgson was honored for his song Give A Little Bit at the 23rd Annual ASCAP awards in Los Angeles. The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers gave the award in acknowledgment of the song being one of the 50 most played songs of 2005.

Discography
  • Supertramp (1970)
  • Indelibly stamped (1971)
  • Crime of the Century (1974)
  • Crisis..what crisis? (1975)
  • Even in the quietest moments (1977)
  • Breakfast in America (1979)
  • Paris (1980)
  • Famous last words (1982)
  • Brother where you bound (1985)
  • Free as a bird (1987)
  • Some things never change (1997)
  • Slow motion (2002)
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Information courtesy of www.wikipedia.net, the Supertramp website www.supertramp.com



Doors Competition


Don't forget to enter The Doors online competition to win one of five limited edition 3 CD Best of the Doors cd/dvd sets - go to www.rock.co.za/rockofages and click on the Doors banner at the top of the page. Be sure to switch your computer speakers on and listen to the Rock of Ages jukebox whilst you are navigating the site - there are 24 Doors tracks on rotation.



Rock Of Ages News


Guitarslinger wanted .... Cape Town rockers 12th Avenue are urgently looking for a new rhythm/ lead guitarist to join the band Applicants must meet the following criteria:

1-must be a shit hot lead and rhythm guitarist
2- must have a rock 'n roll look
3-must be ready to join a hi energy show band
4-must be able to commit and be a team player
5-must know how to rock 'n roll!

No chancers should apply! If you are serious and think you can do the job contact ASAP info@mobentertainment.co.za / www.mobentertainment.co.za

Sick of Amy? ... Evanescence have apparently fired guitarist John LeCompt. And drummer Rocky Gray is said to have quit the band as well. The pair intend to hook up in a new project called Machina. In the meantime she has married her fiance Josh Hertzler.

Pumpkin's artwork stolen .... Two people have been arrested after the theft of artwork slated for use on the cover of the new Smashing Pumpkins album, 'Zeitgeist'. Apparently, this was taken from the band's rehearsal room in Chicago from The Smashing Pumpkins' rehearsal studio in Chicago. These images were subsequently uploaded onto an unofficial Pumpkins website.

SHORT CUTS ... Twisted Sister will put out a double disc DVD at the end of June. It's called 'The Video Years', and features their celebrated promo videos, a classic live show plus new interviews .... There are unconfirmed reports that AC/DC will release a double disc DVD in September. One disc is said to feature Bon Scott era footage, while the other concentrates on Brian Johnson....



Rock Of Ages Recommendations


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Endless Highway


The Band are legendary in the annals of contemporary American music. Their "Music from Big Pink" album is regarded as the blueprint for the entire 70's country rock movement as well as being the 'granddaddy' of the current Americana genre. They were solely responsible for inspiring Eric Clapton's move from heavy psych rock to a more country blues direction as evidenced on his solo albums and continue to influence young bands around the world. Most 'tribute' albums merely duplicate what the original artist has done before, thereby becoming a pointless exercise. "Endless Highway" - The music of The Band" *** however pays homage to this hugely talented 'roots rock' band with fresh reinterpretations of their greatest songs by artists as diverse as Gomez, Jack Johnson, The Allman Brothers, Jakob Dylan, Blues Traveller, My Morning Jacket and even the most unlikely of choices, Death Cab For Cutie.

Ratings:
***** Volcanic....not to be missed.
**** Seismic....highly recommended...buy it!
*** Aftershock....solid effort.
** Damp squib really!
* Do I need to explain this?





Rock of Ages presents "Footstompin' Music"


"Footstompin' Music" is ready for release through Universal Music, it should be in the stores by the middle of May. Here is a pic of the front cover for you to drool over as well as the final tracklisting:

click for bigger pic
Rock Of Ages Presents Footstompin' Music
  1. Grand Funk Railroad - Footstompin' Music
  2. Deep Purple - Burn
  3. Uriah Heep - Look at yourself
  4. Black Sabbath - Sweat Leaf
  5. Thin Lizzy - Chinatown
  6. Robin Trower - Too rolling stoned
  7. Mountain - Never in my life
  8. Wishbone Ash - Blowin' free
  9. Foghat - I just wanna make love to you
  10. Budgie - Baby, please don't go
  11. Santana - Toussaint l'Overture
  12. Alice Cooper - Muscle of love
  13. Nazareth - Go down fighting
  14. Blue Oyster Cult - The Red & the Black
  15. Lynyrd Skynyrd - Gimme back my bullets
  16. Free - The Hunter
  17. Taste - What's goin' on

Keep the rock real...

Benjy



Contact Rock of Ages

Email:
Website: www.rock.co.za/rockofages
Snail mail:
PO Box 53585, Kenilworth, 7745
Studio phones: 021-4342523 / 4342525


Disclaimer:
The views, opinions, rants, raves and ramblings expressed on this website are the author's own and in no way reflect the views of Radio 2000 or the SABC.

SonyBMG DVDs
Latest Playlist
All the playlists are available in the
Playlist Archives.
Live Gigs
Boulevard Blues Band
16th/27th May Bertie's Mooring,Gordons Bay
20th May Fogeys, Muizenberg Station
19th/20th Die Boer, Durbanville
25th Lord Nelson, Simonstown
26th May Flaming Fox,Parklands
31st May Harley Club, Namibia

Jim Neversink
11th May Die Koffiehuis, 32, 7de St, Linden (solo)
25th May The Bohemian, Park Rd, Richmond

Obita plus Farrell Adams & The Little Sinners
12th May The Bassline, 10 Henry Nxumalo Street, Newtown

Laurie Levine with guest Silent Running
16th May Back2Basix, Lancaster Street, Westdene

Josie Field & Laurie Levine
17th May Cafe Barcelona, Shop 44, Elarduspark Shopping Center, Barnard Street, Pretoria

Josie Field
18th May Die Koffiehuis, 32 7de St, Linden (duo with Kevin Leicher)
19th May The Radium Beer Hall, Louis Botha Ave, Orange Grove
20th May Tempos Entertainment Park, 191 Hans Strijdom Drive, Randburg
26th May Back2Basix, Lancaster Street, Westdene

Michael Canfield Rhythm Section Africa & Laurie Levine
24th May The Bohemian, Park Rd, Richmond

The SlashDogs (with The Mochines)
11th May Horror Cafe, Newtown, Jhb
12th May Zanzibar, Pretoria

Jam on Tuesday
11th MayBack 2 Basix, Westdene

Tasha Baxter
16th May The 8 Lounge, William Rd, Norwood

340ML
18th May The 88 Lounge, William Rd, Norwood

Rory Eliot and The Reason
11th May Rovers Rugby Club (near Kings Park), Durban
13th May Vacca Matta in the Golden Horse Casino, 45 New England street, Scotsville, Pietermaritzburg

Allstar Funk four CD Launch
12th May Wynberg Sports Club

VENUES
Snap Wine Bar, Morningside Durban
May 15 Kings & Queens (4 guitarplayers - Alia / Claire Leigh / Tim Pepper / Clifford Bryan ... folk, blues, rock)

You say it's your birthday...

May 10
Donovan - 1946
Jay Ferguson - Spirit, Jo Jo Gunne - 1947
Sid Vicious - Sex Pistols - 1957
Bono - U2 - 1960
Dave Mason - Traffic - 1946

May 11
Eric Burdon - Animals, War - 1941
Butch Trucks - Allman Brothers Band - 1947

May 12
Steve Winwood - Traffic, Blind Faith, Spencer Davis Group - 1948
Billy Squier - 1950
Ian McLagan - Faces/Small Faces - 1945

May 13
Danny Kirwan - Fleetwood Mac - 1950
Ritchie Valens - 1941
Pete "Overend" Watts - Mott the Hoople - 1947
Stevie Wonder - 1950

May 14
Jack Bruce - Cream, Manfred Mann, John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers - 1943
David Byrne - Talking Heads - 1952
Gene Cornish - Rascals - 1945
Bobby Darin - 1936

May 15
Graham Goble - Little River Band - 1947
Brian Eno - Roxy Music - 1948
Mike Oldfield - 1953

May 16
Roger Earl - Foghat, Savoy Brown - 1946
Robert Fripp - King Crimson - 1946

May 17
Bill Bruford - Yes - 1949
Steve Earle - 1955

Courtesy of
About ClassicRock

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Your Host

Benjy Mudie
Benjy Mudie with Void in the late 70's - click for bigger picture Benjy Mudie 2006 - click for bigger picture
Then Now

Benjy Mudie is a self confessed 'rockaholic' with little chance of recovery... a music obsessive whose entire life has been spent in search of the lost chord... from discovering Jimi's "Are you experienced" at 13, he has constantly devoured music through lp's, singles, tapes, cds, dvds, books, magazines, film, concerts, radio, tv and the internet. His entire working life has also been music related: from running a record store and later joining WEA Records in the mid 70's through to his 21 year A&R/Marketing stint at Tusk Music where he signed some of the biggest names in South African rock and pop. The last 8 years have been spent nurturing new talent at his indie label Fresh Music and reissuing classic albums as part of it's ongoing Retro series.... To say that 'music is his first love' (to paraphrase John Miles's classic song) is somewhat understated.

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